Throughout our lives, women and menstruating people look for ways to reduce or eliminate menstrual pain , and the most common solution is to take some type of pain reliever over the counter or prescribed by medical personnel. However, menstrual pain can be counteracted with non-typical methods that can be an alternative to continued, naturalized use of pain relievers.
The use of medicinal plants is an option for the treatment of diseases or to prevent their appearance. Hence, the use of marijuana can be an option to reduce menstrual pain , understood as “chronic pelvic pain of gynecological origin, which occurs during the menstrual period, also being considered cramps, menstrual cramps or painful menstruation, affecting a large number of women ”.
The use of marijuana to treat pain has been identified in different parts of the world, such as in India and China, before the start of the Christian era. According to historical studies, the introduction of marijuana to America occurs through the slave trade from Africa brought to Brazil who brought this plant with them to relieve menstrual and toothache pain.
Marijuana and menstrual pain
The scientific name for marijuana is Cannabis sativa and it belongs to the herbaceous species of the Cannabácea family, which has psychoactive properties . The main compounds are: 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (9-THC), 8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (8-THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN).
According to physiological studies, cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) have been found in the human body that are related to the regulation of vital functions such as pain (11) These cannabinoid receptors found in the human body are highly responsive to the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana (THC).
A compilation of studies about the medicinal properties of marijuana demonstrates its usefulness in the management of:
chronic pain and mental health problems, in the treatment of neurological diseases, the digestive system and nutritional status.
Although there are few studies carried out that account for the impact of marijuana to relieve menstrual pain , the research carried out in 2015 by the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada could be highlighted. The researchers asked a sample of 192 women if they had used marijuana to relieve menstrual pain; 170 of them answered that they had used it and of these 152 answered that it had helped to calm menstrual pain. Participants said that the most common forms of marijuana use were smoking and food.
Other research shows that women use marijuana to treat menstrual pain or other types of conditions, in the context of seeking and using alternative treatments. This study carried out in the city of Los Angeles, United States, in a sample of 40 young adults between 18 and 26 years old, investigates the medicinal use of marijuana, and exposes how early approaches to marijuana allowed to know the medicinal properties. In addition, it shows that the relationship established by medical marijuana users with dispensaries – legal sellers of cannabis – allows us to delve into the medicinal properties of this plant and its relationship to people’s health.
The global picture of marijuana use
Globally, it is possible to see a trend in favor of legalizing the medical use of marijuana . In the case of Latin America, the laws in favor of medical use in the first decades of this century are notorious. But before going into detail about the laws of some countries of Western Europe and Latin America, it is important to clarify the types of use of this substance and to know the arguments that usually justify its prohibition.
The uses of cannabis
Various types of cannabis use can be identified:
Medical purposes: use that benefits people’s health, since it calms disease symptoms or allows their diagnosis.
Scientific use : a substance has this purpose if it is used as a tool to investigate the incidence of the substance on human health and diseases (3).
Recreational use : its purpose is to entertain or please people in the exercise of the free development of their personality.
The prohibition of marijuana
In legislation around the world, the most used criteria to prohibit any type of cannabis use are:
The psychotropic character of cannabis, which means alteration of the central nervous system
The addictive character , that is, the difficulty of controlling its consumption.
These measures, in addition to criminalizing marijuana users, impact the development of scientific research because they impose multiple barriers, such as the lack of financial support from public institutions and the reinforcement of the social stigmatization of this type of research.
At a global level, in a brief overview of international psychoactive substance control pacts, we can highlight the following conventions (3):
In 1912 the International Opium Convention was held, signed in the city of The Hague, Netherlands, and included in its annexes indications to control the production of cannabis.
In 1961, during the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs held in New York, United States, Cannabis was banned and strict control was established for medical and scientific use. Only India was allowed the religious and medicinal use of marijuana.
In 1988 the signatory countries of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances held in Vienna, Austria, agreed to criminalize the carrying out of any action involving a psychotropic substance: production, distribution, sale, possession , import and / or export. Strangely, its consumption was not criminalized .
With regard to the last convention, it is important to clarify that the countries are autonomous to make reforms in relation to this issue, as long as they do not differ from the framework of the conventions in which they were signatory countries; the previous two conventions are in force.